Board should OK charter school

(Appearing in Daily News, Letters to the editor 8/24/06)

I am writing in support of a recent petition by the Palouse Prairie Education Association to the Moscow School Board requesting approval of its charter.

Palouse Prairie Charter School would provide Moscow families with an alternative educational model called Experiential Learning Outward Bound, a project-based model used very successfully at Renaissance Public Charter School where my son attended kindergarten and first grade. As an involved parent, I would like to attest that though the administration failed to provide strong and ethical leadership, the ELOB model and its teachers proved their merit over and beyond my expectations. I also would add that while the Moscow School District has questioned the ability of ELOB to serve gifted and special needs children, it is my experience that ELOB is an expansion of what now happens in my son’s GT program, naturally integrating children at different levels and providing opportunities for them to learn from and support one another in the context of collaborative projects that draw on students’ unique talents and skill sets.

When my son was learning within the ELOB context, he was excited to go to school and full of enthusiasm afterward.

Sadly, this enthusiasm waned when he moved to a mainstream school. These are his foundational years, his prime years. I want those years to be more than OK. I want them to be outstanding. I want his love of learning to thrive and propel him to be the most creative, confident and capable citizen he can be. I see these values at the heart of the ELOB model and at the core of the Palouse Prairie Charter School.

The Moscow School District has great schools already, and expanding its support to include educational opportunities that may work better for some children and their families can only enhance the district.

Katrina Mikiah, Moscow

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